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neuromuscular dry needling


Dry needling uses extremely fine needles (the very same type as those used by acupuncturists),  to directly target dysfunctional tissue (e.g. tight areas referred to as trigger points). Treatment can be relatively painless and aims to reduce pain and restore normal function and range-of-motion.

During dry needling, the local twitch response or sudden slight contraction of the muscle may provoke a very brief and minor pain response. Often described as a cramping sensation, this sensation occurs with the reaction of local twitch responses and this is a positive and desirable outcome. The following list describes some of the sensations you may or may not encounter during your treatment:

  • Localised discomfort on the insertion of the needle. The needle used will be much thinner than the needle used for a simple flu injection or a blood test.

  • A localised histamine response, similar to a mosquito bite.

  • You may feel localised warmth, itching, or a sense of heaviness. This is a sign the technique is working

  • Some mild referred discomfort may occur away from the area of needle inserted

  • Sometimes you may not feel any pain from Dry Needling at all.

There are some similarities between dry needling and acupuncture. The needles used are identical. The primary difference is that dry needling is anatomically-based (not meridian or energy-systems based as in Chinese medicine and acupuncture).


Dry needling is safe when performed by highly trained therapists. Myotherapy is the only qualification in Australia that has dry needling as a core component. Other professions such as Physiotherapists and Osteopaths can elect to undertake additional training, but it is not an integral component of these qualifications. At Maitland Myotherapy & Sports Massage we use only premium grade single-use sterile needles. We also take all general standard precautions to ensure the treatment is hygienically safe.


I have had the luxury of having received extensive training in dry needling from several Australia's leading educators such as:

  • Lily Chiu

  • Nathan McKeown

  • Wayne Mahmoud


At Maitland Myotherapy & Sports Massage, we are firm believers that everybody is different, and every body requires an individual treatment plan. For this reason, we do not rely solely on the use of dry needling to treat soft tissue dysfunction. We simply have, in dry needling, a valuable treatment option available to us when required.



After a Dry Needling treatment, you may encounter some of the following short term symptoms. These are all normal and nothing to worry about.


  • Drowsiness: it is advised not to drive for long distances or operate heavy machinery should you feel drowsy following treatment

  • Fatigue. Your body is trying to process the effects of the treatment. Drink plenty of water afterwards and avoid participating in any activities that are outside your routine.

  • Fainting, nausea or lightheadedness - fainting is rare (I have never experienced anyone had this happen)

  • Some exacerbation of pain may be experienced for a couple of days before you start to feel better

  • In the areas treated, you may feel as if the needles may not have been removed long after they have been removed.

  • You may have some localised bruising

  • You may feel thirsty as a response to Dry Needling treatment. Your body is undergoing a healing process. It is recommended you drink plenty of water to reduce the symptoms of fatigue and post-treatment tenderness

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